The Odyssey is about Ulysses and his crew trying to make it home to Ithaca. Ulysses has plenty of misfortunes on his way home and a little bit of good luck. “Yet all gods had pitied Lord Odysseus, all but Poseidon, raging cold and rough against the brave king till he came ashore at last on his own land.” (line 10) This line shows that The Odyssey has gods and humans interacting. Gods and goddesses interfere and influence actions often.
One of the gods who does not like Ulysses and does not want Ulysses to make it home to Ithaca is Poseidon, god of the sea and earthquakes. One reason why Poseidon does not like Ulysses is because he fought with the Greeks in the Trojan War. Poseidon favored the Trojans and wanted them to win the war. After Troy was taken by the Greeks, Poseidon became furious. As Homer states, “But victory never comes cheap. Poseidon’s anger had indeed been kindled. He roused the winds and tides against Ulysses and sent word to island ogres and monsters of the deep.” (pg. xii) Homer even shows Poseidon’s hate for Ulysses in his Invocation to the Muse it says, “Yet all the gods had pitied Lord Odysseus, all but Poseidon, raging cold and rough against the brave kind till he came ashore at last on his own land.” (line 10) Poseidon doesn’t like Ulysses in the beginning, but when Ulysses blinds Polyphemus, son of Poseidon, it angers Poseidon even more. Polyphemus prays to Poseidon that Ulysses will never see his home again. But if he does, then he shall lose all of his shipmates and have a long struggle on his way.
... , "... Odysseus builds a raft and sets sail, but the sea god Poseidon is by no means ready to allow an easy passage ... Odysseus, raider of cities, took your eye! Laretes' son, whose home is on Ithaca! ". Here, Odysseus has given away his identity ... Ithaca with is wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus. Poseidon made the quest back home from war very difficult for Odysseus with his ...
On the other hand, Athena, goddess of wisdom, skill and warfare, helps Ulysses. When Ulysses is trapped on Calypso’s island, he prays to Zeus, Athena, Poseidon and Apollo. He asks them to either allow him to go home or strike him dead on the spot. Homer says, “His prayer was carried to Olympus. Athena heard it. She went to Zeus and asked him to call the gods into council. They met in the huge throne room”(pg120.) Homer also says, “Athena said, “O father Zeus, O brother gods, I wish to speak on behalf of Ulysses, who of allthe mighty warriors we send to Troy has the most respect for our power and the most belief in our justice. Ten years after leaving the bloody beaches of Troy he has still not reached home. He is penned now on an island by Calypso, daughter of Atlas, who uses all her Titanic enticements to keep him prisoner. This man’s plight challenges our Justice. Let us help him now.” (pg. 121) She even drugs Poseidon so Ulysses can make it home after twenty whole years of struggling. Homer writes, “It is said that Athena drugged Poseidon’s cup at the feast of the gods that night, so that he slept a very heavy sleep and did not see that Ulysses was being borne to Ithaca.” (pg. 145) Athena even warns Ulysses upon his return home. She tells him of the suitors overtaking his home. To save Ulysses from being killed by the suitors, she disguises him as an old beggar. Using his disguise, Ulysses reclaims his kingdom with the help of Athena. Odysseus finally rejoins his family in peace. Athena acts as a peacemaker after Ulysses killed all of the suitors. According to Homer, “On the next day with Telemachus at his side, Odysseus visits his father, Laertes. When the relatives of the slain suitors arrive and demand revenge, the goddess Athena appears to command that peace be restored.” (line 1189)
A few other gods interfere. Hermes, the messenger god, helps Ulysses get home. Hermes warns Ulysses of Circe and what she may do to him. Homer writes, “He snapped his finger and a flower appeared between them. It was white and heavily scented, with a black and yellow root. He gave it to Ulysses.” (pg 59) He tells him that the flower is called moly. He says, “So long as you carry it, Circe’s drugs will not work.” (pg 59) He delivers the news to Calypso that she cannot keep Ulysses any longer. Hermes tells Calypso that she cannot fight Zeus, and that she must let him go. Hermes says, “Permit Ulysses to make a raft. See that he has provisions. Then let him depart.” (pg. 123)
... in the mountains, he constructed an immortal device for Zeus. Hephaistus' creation of the sceptre both bolsters the ... all Argos. (II, 102-109) 'In naming Hephaistus, Zeus, Hermes, and the kings of Mycenae, Homer describes a ... the poem. This relic, a sceptre once owned by Zeus, has a kingly and divine past and, as ... Homer has given the reader a symbol for god-like power in the hands of a mortal man. ...
A few other gods play minor roles in Ulysses journey. Ino helps Ulysses with her veil. Ino hated Poseidon so she wanted to help Ulysses. Using Ino’s veil Ulysses swims for two days to Phaeacia. Zeus helps Ulysses when he decides that Ulysses shall be freed from Calypso’s island. Morpheus decides that Ulysses shall not stay on the Lotus Eater’s island. “This man is a hero. Terrible are his needs, sudden his deeds, and his dreams must be his own. I cannot help him.” (pg. 13)
In conclusion, Ulysses faces many hardships. Some hardships are caused by the gods and some are his own fault. Poseidon causes bad luck and Athena causes good luck for Ulysses. The journey home for Ulysses was a long one, but gods and goddesses definitely affected its outcome. This shows how gods and goddesses influence the actions in the Odyssey.